TUPELO – Lee County Schools teachers, assistant teachers and cafeteria workers with a combined 300-plus years of experience are trading in chalk and hairnets for retirement.
“Why not?” said Barbara Armstrong, a second-grade teacher at Verona Elementary who’s been in the classroom for 35 years. “My children just said it was time for me to come home. It’s kind of a bittersweet thing.”
At a reception on Tuesday, Armstrong said she would spend the first summer of her retirement doing “nothing but working in my garden. Peas and corn, tomatoes and squash. That will keep me busy.”
She eventually plans to tutor children at the community center being revitalized in her hometown of Plantersville.
Nadine Huffstatler has spent 31 years in the cafeteria at Verona.
“I just help prepare the food,” she said, adding she might sleep in now that she won’t have to report to work at 6:30 in the morning. “Now I’ll do what I want to.”
Still, “I’ll miss it,” Huffstatler said. “I’ll sub for them, if they’ll let me.”
Dr. Charles Nichols, a math teacher at Guntown Middle School, is retiring with 13 years in Lee County. Along with time in Marion County, Ala., “This is year 38,” he said.
During retirement, “I’m sure I could find something to do around the house,” Nichols said. “I will miss working with the students and the faculty. The thing I’ll miss the most is the kids.”
Ginny Miller/NEMS Daily Journal